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About

GAN SHAN WEST

You’re our kind of people if you know that eating can be more than simply consuming food. At Gan Shan, we seek to nourish you, our guests. That’s a process with many components, and it’s why our seasonally changing menu, warm service, and attention to dining detail are as carefully crafted as our food.

A restaurant can be a place of exploration, a discovery of something different. It can also offer restoration, a feeling of genuine nourishment, and even homecoming – a place of connection within a community. 

As a neighborhood establishment, we value each of these enrichments, and we strive to provide them all.

Gan Shan Station on Charlotte Street in north Asheville, is the flagship restaurant of the Gan Shan Group, and it’s where we first began to create Asian food using locally sourced ingredients. 

Gan Shan menus change frequently, shifting alongside the local growing season and the seafood market. We adapt and refine our recipes continually, seeking what’s fresh, local, and delicious.

Monday – Thursday bring a familiar rhythm to the week that guests come to expect, but with endless variation on each theme. We also offer weekly, varying specials at both lunch and dinner that showcase what’s local, seasonal, and on our minds.

Regulars and visitors alike delight in departing from “the usual” with us, and exploring a multi-layered – and genuinely satisfying – dining experience. 

Gan Shan West focuses on a diverse array of noodle dishes in a relaxed neighborhood environment. Dine in, eat at our outdoor courtyard, or take your food to go.

Our menu changes seasonally (or sometimes simply inspirationally,) while the Gan Shan commitment to a delicious, nourishing, and restorative food experience remains unwavering. 

 

 — Frequently Asked Questions —


 

What does Gan Shan mean, what language is it in, and how do you pronounce it?

Loosely translated, Gan Shan means Sunset Mountain, and it is named in honor of the mountain that Gan Shan Station sits directly below.

The “a” in both gan and shan are pronounced ah, like ah hah! Gahn Shahn.

Naming the restaurant this way is a nod to the concept of Gan Shan as a whole. Our restaurant serves Asian food, adapted from Asian recipes, and using what we refer to as “the Asian pantry.”

Each of these things is true, but it’s equally true that the food is made by Western hands, interpreted through a Western lens, and with local Appalachian-grown ingredients whenever possible.

We recognize that our own cultural influences undoubtedly “change” the character and flavor of the food, and we like it that way. That’s because making, serving, and enjoying food are about relationships. 


What kind of cuisine do you serve? 

We serve Asian food, inspired by East Asian cultures of Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, China, Japan, and Singapore. Our recipes come primarily from Mrs. Chiang's Szechwan Cookbook

When Gan Shan owner Patrick O'Cain was a child, this cookbook was a gift to his parents and became a mainstay of their family cooking ventures and meals. 


Do I need a reservation? 

We don’t accept reservations at either location.


The exception to this is our Chef's table at Gan Shan Station, a unique dining experience that requires 48-hour advance notice. 


Are your dumplings homemade? 

Yes! The dumplings – both wrappers and fillings – are made in- house.

We make our dough in huge batches, and our early-morning dumpling team rolls the wrappers out by hand. They fold in our ever-changing fillings, and, by the end, we have hundreds of dumplings. 


Do you have vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options? 

Yes, all of the above. Some of our dishes can be altered upon request to become vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. Other dishes are made precisely for those palates. 


Does your food have MSG in it? 

Monosodium glutamate (or MSG) – in the way it’s generally thought of – is a flavor enhancer that’s added to food. At Gan Shan, we don’t add MSG to our food, because we let our bold, rich, and clean flavors speak for themselves.

That being said, MSG is a naturally occurring amino acid, and so no one can accurately claim to serve food that’s “MSG-free.” 


I don't like spicy food, is there anything I can eat here? 

Definitely. Our focus at Gan Shan is on flavor, not spice. You can find plenty of things to suit a non-spicy palate, and our knowledgeable waitstaff will happily help steer you in the right direction. 


Why don't you serve hot sake? 

Our sake is high-grade, flavorful, and balanced; each of these virtues would be destroyed by heating, which dulls the sake’s nature.

In other words, we don’t need to warm up our sake to make it drinkable. Just like you wouldn’t use a fine bottle for mulled wine, we don’t heat our sakes.

We serve high-quality, intentionally chosen sakes that complement the flavors in our food, and invite you to ask for direction if you’re curious and/or confused about what to choose. If you want a hot beverage, we have teas specifically selected to blend well with our food. 


Who is the executive chef, and what’s his relationship with this kind of food?

Asheville native Patrick O'Cain is the chef and owner of Gan Shan Station and Gan Shan West. 

Patrick grew up with cooking as a centerpiece of his family’s culture. The O’Cain family enjoyed meals together from Mrs. Chiang’s Szechwan Cookbook, a gift from Patrick’s late uncle. 

Cooking in the O’Cain household wasn’t just about eating food; it was about togetherness. Exploring flavors together, working together, and savoring (or occasionally bemoaning) the results together. 

A graduate of Asheville High, Patrick earned a Bachelor’s degree at NC State in English and French. After teaching and living abroad, he turned his love of cooking and hosting friends into his profession.

Patrick returned to Asheville and attended the AB-Tech Culinary Program, while working part-time in the kitchen of Asheville’s own Curate. He then relocated to Charleston, SC to accept an internship at the renowned McCrady’s restaurant, where he was later offered a full-time position.

He left McCrady’s to help open Charleston’s Xiao Bao Biscuit, where he served as sous-chef. After a year and a half at Xiao Bao, Patrick returned home to open Gan Shan Station, at the foot of Sunset Mountain.

Mrs. Chiang’s cookbook, now fondly known as The Cookbook, is the cornerstone of Gan Shan’s recipes. Patrick and staff extend the family tradition of sharing the joys of food and community with Gan Shan’s guests. 


How often do your menus change? 

Large changes to our Gan Shan Station Menu and our Gan Shan West Menu occur seasonally, as we keep pace both with the natural shifts in local fare and with what people want to eat.

That being said, we continually refine our offerings, and make additions and alterations whenever the inspiration to do so strikes. 


How are your two locations, Gan Shan Station and Gan Shan West, different? 

Gan Shan Station is our flagship restaurant. It is physically larger, quieter, and has more indoor and outdoor seating capacity than Gan Shan West. At Gan Shan Station, we have separate lunch and dinner menus, and begin serving dinner at 4:30 p.m. 

Gan Shan West is our outpost. The space is smaller, louder, and noodle-centric. West has the same menu for lunch and dinner, with dinner specials. 

Both locations are committed to a community experience of delicious, nourishing, and restorative food. 

Team

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Patrick O’Cain, Chef & Owner


As an Asheville native, I am no stranger to the concept of community building. This mountain town has seen huge growth in my lifetime, and much of that with a sense of connection and community. Part of this growth and connection has centered around food and beverage production and consumption. We take our “locally grown” seriously in Asheville.

While I have endeavored to create a space of nourishment and connection at Gan Shan, I have been surprised – and excited – to see that vision naturally expand in ways I never expected or could have foreseen. 

I had the idea to bring a neighborhood, Asian-themed restaurant into north Asheville, and I implemented the processes to make the vision real in the kitchen. But that alone does not determine the restaurant’s culture.

Gan Shan service and kitchen staff members are aligned with the vision and the company values. But that does not solely determine the restaurant’s culture.

The restaurant’s culture is a culmination of connection; it is determined by what happens when you, our guests, come into the restaurant, interact with us, and eat the food we have prepared for you.

For me, that is the essence of community – a dynamic, interdependent, mutually enhancing relationship that adapts and shifts as it grows. At Gan Shan, we share the joy of food and drink that enrich our community, and I’m thankful you want to do that together.